After two months working as the Royals co-hitting coach, Hall of Famer George Brett has resigned. Pedro Grifol will now be the full-time hitting coach for the remainder of the season.
Here is what Brett said in a statement that was released by the club and can be found in Bob Dutton’s story on KansasCity.com.
“My lifelong passion after playing was not to be a hitting coach,” Brett said. “But Dayton (Moore, the club’s general manager) asked me if I would consider it, and I did, but only on the promise that it would be on an interim basis.
“There is a ton of talent here, and doing this for almost two months has prepared me to be a better advisor to Dayton and his staff. This has been an unbelievable experience for me, and now I’m energized to contribute more to this organization as I return to my non-uniformed role.”
When Brett took over the offense was in shambles, particularly in terms of the production they were not receiving from their young talents Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. On May 29, the day before Brett was named co-hitting coach, Moose was batting a paltry .187/.257/.313 while Hosmer was batting .262/.323/.331 with just one home run.
If Brett saw his job as helping fix Hosmer and Moose, than he was successful. Hosmer is batting .309/.349.531 with 10 home runs since May 30, and is batting .317/.351/.602 with 9 home runs in his last 30 games. Moose has taken a little longer to come around but he also had the most issues with his swing. Since Brett took over, Moose is batting .266/.309/.385, but is batting .299/.342/.458 over his last 30 games. His 3 home runs leaves something to be desired, but the there is no question he is on the right track when considering where he was two months ago.
But KC’s overall offense hasn’t been much better since Brett took over. Alex Gordon is mired in a massive slump, while Billy Butler continues to perform below the standards we usually see from him. As a team the Royals were averaging 4 runs per game before Brett took over, and have averaged only 3.8 runs per game since.
Part of the issue is talent. Kansas City has received nothing from their second base and right field positions, while also suffering from very poor production at shortstop. One could even make a case KC could use an upgrade in centerfield as well, though the holes at second base and right field are so massive that it is easy to overlook the performances turned in by Royals centerfield and shortstops.
If the goal was to fix Hosmer and Moustakas then the Brett experiment succeeded. But if the goal was to turned the offense around then one could say the Brett hiring failed.
Brett will return to his post as team vice president now that he is done as hitting coach.